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Couple reaches out to school of medicine, Meadow Brook Hall through planned gifts

Thursday, June 7, 2012
Couple reaches out to school of medicine, Meadow Brook Hall through planned gifts

When it was timeOUWBSOM Bldg for Debra Shea, CAS ’76, and her husband, William, to discuss what they wanted to accomplish with their estate, they knew supporting Oakland University would be high on their list of priorities.

The couple decided to designate a portion of their estate to create a scholarship for the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and a portion to support Meadow Brook Hall’s Museum Enrichment Fund.

Shea says she and William have been excited to see the medical school launch its inaugural class.

“It’s so important right now to support the medical school and help prepare the community for growth with new doctors,” explains Shea, whose father was a Detroit-area physician. “It’s an honor for us to be part of this.”

A planned gift like this from an Oakland University alum is especially meaningful to the medical school, Founding Dean Dr. Robert Folberg says.

“The adoption of this new group of students, who don’t have alumni of their own to support them, speaks volumes about Debra and William Shea,” Folberg adds.

Meadow Brook HallAs for Meadow Brook Hall, Shea has loved the site since her early years as a psychology student at OU. “It’s just the history and beauty and the dedication of the many, many people who’ve supported it.”

Shea also has felt a connection to the stunning objects of art Matilda Wilson collected and displayed in the mansion. Shea is a passionate collector of antiques. “She parlayed her wealth into creating the most exquisite and beautiful property,” Shea says.

As a self-supporting auxiliary of Oakland University, Meadow Brook Hall values each dollar in support of its educational mission, Geoff Upward, Meadow Brook Hall’s executive director, says.

“It is especially gratifying to us, stewards of Matilda and Alfred Wilson’s incredible treasure, that an Oakland University family has chosen to support the founders’ home in such an impactful way,” he says

Meadow Brook Hall was recently named a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior — one of 13 new sites to be designated landmarks.